The U.S House approved a US$565 billion funding measure Wednesday to keep the federal government open.

The measure includes U.S. agreements with Pacific island nations, which are set to expire this year and have far reaching impacts for Hawaii.

Hawaii members in Congress say the agreements moving forward in Washington are good news for the 20,000 to 30,000 Pacific migrants legally in Hawaii from the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau under the Compacts of Free Association.

“It’s about people by taking care of parts of our community that have been very productive and contributing members of our community,” said U.S Rep Ed Case, D-Hawaii.

Pacific migrants in Hawaii are not covered by federal supplemental nutritional benefits or even FEMA housing benefits after the Maui wildfires. Case believes those benefits will be covered The Compact Impact Fairness Act once signed by President Biden.

“The state of Hawaii will not be asked to step up to pay for benefits that anybody else legally in this country is entitled to from the federal government,” said Case.

“If it’s signed, as we expect in the next couple of days, then FEMA would be feel fully authorized to extend that assistance to COFA migrants as well as everybody else that it’s extending assistance to,” he added.

The legislation is expected to pass the U.S Senate Thursday.

U.S Senator Mazie Hirono says the agreements mean the U.S. would give US$7 billion in economic assistance to the Pacific nations over twenty years.

“These islands in the middle of the Pacific are a bulwark against Chinese intentions, and garnering a lot more influence in the Indo-Pacific. These island nations are very important. These agreements enable us to have access to their territories,” said Hirono, D-Hawaii.

“This is a great gesture of the United States Congress commitment to our treaty and relationship, and security of our economy and nation,” said Josie Howard, CEO of We Are Oceania.